America issues travel advisory to its citizens

India says country is safe for tourists

Home Minister P Chidambaram said India is “safer than many other countries in the world” and New Delhi will try to persuade Washington to withdraw such an advisory.
He was reacting to an ‘Urgent Warden Message’ posted on American Embassy website which cautioned American citizens in India.

“The United States Mission in India wishes to urgently remind all US citizens resident in or travelling to India that there is a high threat from terrorism throughout India,” the message said.

“As terror attacks are a serious and growing threat, US citizens are urged to always practice good security, including maintaining a heightened situational awareness and a low profile,” it said.

The message said, “Americans in India should be vigilant at all times and monitor local news reports and vary their routes and times in carrying out daily activities.”

The advisory asked Americans to consider the level of security present when visiting public places, including religious sites, or choosing hotels, restaurants, entertainment and recreation venues.

Commenting on the advisory, Chidambaram said the MEA will be asked to speak to the US to persuade them to withdraw the advisory.

“India is a completely safe country... India is a safe place, it is safer than many other countries in the world. Thousands of tourists come to India and we look forward to welcoming them,” he told reporters.

Asked whether the US was trying to hyphenate India and Pakistan, Chidambaram said, “Why should we jump to conclusions. We will try to find out why this advisory was issued, if at all it was issued.”

AP alert on possible terror attack

The Hyderabad police have issued an alert of a terrorist attack in south Indian cities, reports DHNS from Hyderabad.

Three terrorists who have entered the country are less than 30 years old, male, fair complexion and have a heavy accent that can differentiates them as foreigners, according to a press note released by the Police Commissioner of Hyderabad here on Thursday.

The police have warned hotel and lodge owners and house owners to take precautions while taking guests or tenants in and to ascertain their identity. All places of worship, those managing public places and places like shopping malls have been asked to strictly implement all safety measures.

The warning comes even as a top commander of Lashkar has been arrested in South Delhi on Thursday.

Hyderabad has been targeted by terrorists for the past three years, the last attack being the twin blasts in a popular restaurant and a park in August 2007 in which 40 persons died.

In May 2007, 16 people died in a bomb blast in a masjid in the old city and in police firing on protesters while in 2005 a bomb kept in a scooter was triggered off in front of a temple killing one person.

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